Today, July 10th, more than 1,000,000 firemen, teachers, civil servants and public sector workers will be on strike.
Frustrated by the Lib Dem/Tory Coalition’s decision to make them bear the brunt of their austerity policies, these workers have said enough is enough.
Despite sustained attacks on wages, conditions of service and pension entitlements, these workers have for months sought to negotiate through their respective unions. However, the Tories and their LibDem sidekicks have failed to talk in a meaningful and structured fashion. Coalition ministers tell the media that they are willing to talk and that their doors are open. But when these workers have knocked at the doors, they’ve always found them firmly bolted and locked. Striking is the only remaining option.
Cameron makes it political
In a deliberately timed attempt to politicize the dispute, David Cameron told MPs on July 9th: “I don’t think these strikes are right… I think people should turn up for work. I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots… How can it possibly be right for our children’s education to be disrupted by trade unions acting in that way? It is time to legislate and it will be in the Conservative manifesto.”
One of Cameron’s threats concerns the imposition of thresholds in strike ballots. 50% +1 has been suggested as an appropriate figure after which strikes might be legitimate.
Cameron’s threat is a bit rich given that the Tories only achieved 35% of the popular vote at the last general election and hold a minority of parliamentary seats. It is in power solely because the lickspittle Lib Dems wanted a slice of the action. The public had NO say in this particular unholy alliance. Thanks, once again, Mr Mulholland!!!
Councillor Alex Sobel attacks this ‘cruel and heartless government’
Earlier today rallies and marches in support of the strike were held across the country. Cllr Alex Sobel, Labour Parliamentary Candidate (Leeds North West), told the Leeds Strike, March and Rally that his own personal experiences chimed with theirs.
Speaking in a personal capacity he said:
“As a worker in the voluntary sector who hasn’t had any pay increase in 5 years due to the Tory-Lib Dem cuts I know how it feels for prices to race ahead of your pay every year.
“As a parent of children in school I want my children to be taught by staff who feel their jobs are valued and life is secure so they come to work without financial worries.
“As somebody who lives in the community I want to know our firefighters, council workers and those right across the public sector have enough to support themselves and their families.
“This strike wasn’t caused by you, I know you all would rather be at work helping people. It was caused by a cruel and heartless Government who have cut taxes to the wealthiest and let our bankers grow fat again after ruining our economy. Worse still, even when the Government do promise action on low pay – such as the £250 pay rise George Osborne promised in recent years – they don’t implement it.
“For these reasons I am here today and stand shoulder to shoulder with you fighting for a better deal not just for you but for the whole of society.”
It is clear that Eton-educated, Bullingdon Bully Cameron, with his inherited wealth – and, of course, with the help of his LibDem allies – wants to return British workers to the days of hire, fire and doff your cap to the squire.
Naturally his comments have gone down well in the right-wing, that is to say most of the British press. The Sun,
for example, calls Cameron’s attitude a vote-winner.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
But have no doubt – it will be, unless good people rally to the Labour party – the only party which can make a real change.
Britain Must Be Better Than This